Don't fuck the fans.
On the latest episode of What Happened When, Tony Schiavone reviews the December 5, 1987 episode of NWA World Championship Wrestling. The main event sees Ric Flair defend the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship against Michael Hayes.
Fans watching didn't see the finish of the bout as the show went to black in the middle of a pinfall.
"Yeah, it's the wrong thing to do," Schiavone said about going to black during the finish. "I liked, at the time, being part of it, being excited, telling the fans 'we have to go, we're out time' and I used to say 'the tape machines are rolling, we'll show you what happened next week.' We necessarily never did, or most of the time we didn't. You have the fans invested in this match, the match moves along, and all of a sudden, ope, we're gone. What the hell? It's like, 'bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, we're gonna win the World Series...but we have to go to the Mary Tyler Moore Show.' We've talked a lot about the cracks in Jim Crockett promotions, the sale of UWF, Dusty (Rhodes) booking himself over in the Bunkhouse Stampede, guys not showing up for bookings, and going off TV without showing finishes. That all, mixed into the pot, is the reason we failed. I don't think you'll ever see Tony Khan book a show where he goes off without a finish."
When Conrad Thompson pointed out that sometimes a match will have a DQ finish leading to a big brawl and the show going off the air, Schiavone said, "That's a storytelling device. You can still have a finish in your match and then move on with the storytelling device after the finish. I never liked fuck finish DQs. Fuck finish DQs is fucking the fans. You don't want to fuck the fans. You can only fuck them so many times."
Asked how many times you can fuck the fans and get away with it, Schiavone replied, "38. I knew you were going to ask me some dumb ass number, so I just threw one out there so appease your dumbass question. You can't please everybody. Sometimes, a group of fans are going to feel like they've been fucked over. A lot of times, a group of fans are waiting to be fucked over and they live for that so they can shit on you and shit on your promotion and shit on this podcast and that's what they do because they are miserable fucks."
That settles that. Schiavone noted that he isn't a booker and isn't trying to be a "know it all," just pointing out what he sees and how he feels from his experience in the business.
Schiavone can be heard calling the action every on AEW Dynamite, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesdays. He also serves as the senior producer for the company.
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